Fannie Mae/Fanny May (1938)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Sep 16 04:40:23 UTC 2008

My latest Word Routes column is on the nicknames "Fannie Mae" and "Freddie Mac":

In the column I provide a 1938 cite for "Fannie Mae" (spelled "Fanny
May") as a nickname for the FNMA, antedating OED2 by a decade. Found
it via Google Books, but it looks legit:

1938 _Architectural Forum_ July-Dec. 4/2 Nicknamed 'Fanny May' by
Washington's bureau wags, the Federal National Mortgage Association
(FNMA) had by mid-August purchased only $43 million of FHA-insured

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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